The 377-year-old imperial palace of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in Shenyang, in northeast China's Liaoning Province, will soon join applications for World Cultural Heritage status.
The palace dates from the early Qing Dynasty. After the dynasty expanded southward, the Forbidden City in Beijing succeeded it as imperial palace.
"Although the Shenyang palace is smaller than the Forbidden City, it has unique features and special historical, artistic and scientific value," said Zhi Yunting, palace curator. "Its architecture mirrors local customs and the blend of local ethnic groups at the time of its construction. From this palace, we know a lot about the Qing Dynasty in its incipient stage."
According to Zhi, the palace boasts remarkable achievements in architecture, sculpture and paintings, which make it an outstanding architectural work.
As time passes, the palace faces a great risk of damage. Of the old walls surrounding it, only the northwest section still remained thanks to remedial protection measures, said Zhi.
"Taking into account all these factors, I believe the palace has basically met the application criterion," Zhi said.
China has 28 sites with world heritage status at present and more are applying.
Central China's Henan Province is promoting Shaolin Temple and a nearby mountain which feature more than 600 pagodas. Ningbo, home to a Chinese Romeo and Juliet-type story, is to apply for United Nations World Immaterial Heritage listing.
(Xinhua News Agency July 26, 2002)